Many of you might be aware of HIV, human immune deficiency virus, which is very dangerous and can lead to acute immune deficiency virus (AIDS).
HIV infection is transmitted mainly through sexual contacts.
It is a viral infection, which gradually damages your body immunity.
HIV infection mainly destroys the cells of your immune system and decreases your body’s ability to fight against the diseases which are caused due to fungal, viral and bacterial infections.
This dreadful infection can also make your body more prone to certain types of cancers and opportunistic to certain infections which your body would normally resist.
What are the other adverse effects of HIV infection?
HIV infection can also lead you to several other harmful diseases like lung cancer, heart attack and also tuberculosis. Recent studies have proved that people infected with HIV face nearly twice the risk of heart attack when compared with non infected patients.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common infection associated with HIV and causing death to several AIDS infected people. Having HIV, you are more susceptible to get infected with TB.
It is a contagious disease and mostly affects the lungs of your body. It can be transmitted when a person with this infection coughs or sneezes near you. It is more worrying than the other infections which are caused by HIV.
Depending up on the symptoms and the amount of virus in your blood, HIV infection develops in three stages. If you are affected with HIV, then you will go through these three crucial stages [Determining HIV virus].
First stage (acute retroviral syndrome):
Acute retroviral syndrome is an illness which often shows its effects within few days of infection. It is generally characterized with fever, diarrhea, skin rash, headache, sudden weight loss, abdominal cramps, enlarged lymph nodes, and also muscle and joint pains.
These symptoms can be mild or even severe in some cases. They can last for two to three weeks after the infection and usually disappears on their own.
Second stage (chronic stage):
Sometimes HIV infection does not show any symptoms and it takes years to show its effect on the immune system. This virus gets multiplied so quickly that your immune system loses its ability to destroy the virus. As a result the immune system in your body will become weak.
The symptoms of HIV in this stage includes shortness of breath, difficulty in concentrating, dry cough, night sweats, loss of appetite, nail changes, continuous vaginal infection, and also abnormal pap test which results in cervical cancer.
Third stage (AIDS):
This is the last stage of HIV infection which does not have any medications to treat. After 12 to 13 years of the initial stages of HIV infection, AIDS will develop. AIDS can be delayed or prevented if the initial stages of HIV infection is recognized and treated.
There is no vaccine or cure for this dreadful disease [Treating AIDS]. Some of the helpful ways through which you can prevent the infection are
- Don’t use unsterilized needles.
- Know about the HIV status of your sexual partner.
- Do not donate blood or any other organs if you are HIV positive.
- Get regular HIV tests.